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The Reunion ACT II

by freynolds 

Posted: 22 April 2009
Word Count: 3285
Summary: This is the last act where the denouement takes place and we find whodunnit for those who were interested in what happened next. This is quite long, apologies in advance.


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THERE IS NOISE IN THE CORRIDOR. THEY ALL LOOK TOWARDS THE DOOR. IT IS BEING UNLOCKED; THE MAJOR-DOMO LETS A MAN IN A WHEEL CHAIR ENTER THE ROOM. THERE IS NO SIGN OF RECOGNITION FROM EITHER OF THE GUESTS.
MAN IN WHEELCHAIR: Hello and welcome to my humble home.
THEY ALL LOOK AT HIM WONDERING WHO HE IS.
RACHEL (sarcastic): But itís not that humble and we are not really guests, are we?
MAN IN WHEELCHAIR: Correct, Rachel, this is a mansion and you are my prisoners.
KELLY (outraged): Prisoners for what and of whom? We donít even know who you are. First we thought Alan had killed Richard, then it transpires that it was Alan who died but possibly not. Ten years ago we all went to Richardí funeral and it turns out it was not him we buried. Whose body was in the coffin? (Silence). Thatís outrageous! All these years we lived in fear of the story, the story we all thought was the truth whilst all these years we have been misled and none of what we thought was true, is true. This is insane (she sounds hysterical) who are you?
MAN IN WHEELCHAIR (smiling): The truth is sometimes a little difficult to confront isnít it Kelly? I will tell you who I am in a moment. All you need to know for the time being is that I know all of you and that you all know me. First, we are going to go over what happened that night and also what happened for the next twenty years. Shall we start with you Kelly?
KELLY: What do you mean?
MAN IN WHEELCHAIR: Tell us your version of the events that night. From the moment you told Alan that Rachel and Richard were engaged.
KELLY: Thatís all there is to say. I told Alan and he went mad. He ran outside, saw Richard standing by the cliff with Rachel and they started arguing.
MAN IN WHEELCHAIR: Except that this is not the only thing you did that night, is it? You also came up with a plausible explanation for the police. When everyone wanted to make a call for help you were the one who suggested that Richard was probably dead. We all know the cliff overlooked the sea and was directly above ragged rocked. The drop was two hundred feet. It made sense. So much so that it was easier to wait for the morning and call the local police to report Richard missing. And you made that call, you were the only one who could speak French and I must say you were a very good actress. Within an hour a search party was under way.
KELLY: What else could we have done? A murder would have ruined our lives and I donít see why we should have suffered because of a stupid fight.
MAN IN WHEELCHAIR: You were never a sentimental person, were you? But fate gave you back what you sowed; a heartless marriage to a man who despises you. Why do you think your rich husband married you?
Kelly (hesitant): Well, because he fell in love with me.
MAN IN WHEELCHAIR: Not because he was paid a very handsome sum of money to do so, a handsome one million pounds?
KELLY (gasping): He what?
MAN IN WHEELCHAIR: You didnít know? Poor Kelly! (He is ironic). He is no diplomat your husband. (He laughs). When he is not at home, which is most of the time, he lives in a luxury house with his mistress of twenty years. Your poisonous tongue got you the life you hate. But it also landed you what you wanted most a rich husband. Not exactly fairy tale but it is some achievement I suppose.
KELLY SITS DOWN AS WHITE AS A SHEET.
MAN IN WHEELCHAIR: But you are not the only one who got more than they could chew are you? Rachel has not been dealt a much better hand, I can tell you. Rachel who Alan and Richard fought over, Rachel who did not lift a finger or say anything to stop the fight, Rachel who was widowed within two years of marrying her husband and was left with nothing. (He smirks). Rachel, adorable Rachel, who accepted to marry Richard because it was the best option at the time. Rachel who met her husband to be days after Richard fell off the cliff, except we all know now that he did not. Did he Gregory?
RACHEL IS CRYING. GREGORY STANDS UP.
GREGORY: No, I donít think he fell. It was dark and although we all thought he fell I did not hear anything hit the rocks and I was the closest to the cliff. When everyone had gone back indoors I pretended to go to my room but instead I slipped outside and went to look for Richard.
MAN IN WHELCHAIR: And where did you go?
GREGORY: I went down the goat path. After a few minutes I heard voices and crept over to where they were coming from.
MAN IN WHEELCHAIR: What did you see?
GREGORY: Richard and Alan were arguing. Alan grabbed hold of Richard and started punching him. Richard punched him back, once and Alan fell to his feet. Richard bent over his body, kicked it but there was no reaction. Richard lit a cigarette and walked away. I waited a few minutes and went over to where Alanís body lay. His eyes were wide open but there was no life in them. I checked his pulse but I could not find a beat. Alan was dead.
MAN IN WHEELCHAIR: So you just went back to your room and slept it off.
GREGORY: No, I went into the village and drank myself to death at the local cafe. The whole thing was a mess and I was afraid and confused. I only got back to my room in the morning, having slept my drunken stupor on the beach.
MAN IN WHEELCHAIR: You were always weak and selfish, you havenít changed but can you tell us why you did not tell anyone?
GREGORY: Because no one would have believed me. When I went back to the spot in the early hours, there was no body to be found. I just put it down to too much booze and went back to my room and this time I slept.
MAN IN WHEELCHAIR: So we have established that Gregory although a wet suit does not have much to feel guilty about, this is not the case for Emily though.
EMILY (standing up): I knew it was going to be my turn (she snorts) it seems we all have something on our conscience and much more than just Richard falling over the cliff it seems. I have my load over my shoulders too but Iíd prefer to tell the story myself.
I called the police that night and tried to tell them it was Rachel who had pushed Richard. I was jealous of Rachel and wanted her punished for not trying to stop the fight. The irony of it is that the police could not understand a word I said and asked me to call again in the morningÖ I loved Richard. (She pauses). I am the one who found Rachel the husband she wanted. What she did not know is that he was terminally ill and did not have long to live. She fell in love with him. I gave him a lot of money to keep quiet about his illness; after all it ensured that his remaining days were as comfortable as possible. He did not love Rachel but it was a bonus to have someone nursing him to his final days.
RACHEL IS CRYING.
MAN IN WHEELCHAIR: So this leaves Peter and Jonathan. As far as you too are concerned we can handle both of you in one go since you are a couple and do everything together. Do you want to tell us your story and your version of events or do you want me to paint the picture for you?
JONATHAN STANDS UP.
JONATHAN: No, Iíll tell our story. We found Kelly her husband and paid him to marry her. We heard Kelly tell Alan about Rachel. She was enticing him to fight Richard. She was also adding lies and told Alan that Rachel had had an abortion, that she had had their baby aborted. That sent Alan in a fury and led to the consequences we know or rather the consequences we thought we knew.
PETER STANDS UP TOO:
PETER: We are not proud about what we did and it is never clever to play God. It didnít serve us in the end and ten years ago an anonymous letter was sent to our employer implying that we had stolen money from the company.
MAN IN WHEELCHAIR: Was this true?
PETER: No it was not and we were cleared of any suspicion but the investigation and the media coverage damaged our reputation and we were offered a redundancy.
MAN IN WHEELCHAIR: So we have gone full circle. Every one of you had a little secret and now it has been exposed, so I think it is time to reveal who I am but before I do that let me introduce you an old friend.
ENTERS A GREY HAIRED HANSOME MAN.
HANDSOME MAN: Hello old friends. I wish I could say it is good to see you all. Unfortunately we are not here to have a good time. It is pay back time! (He laughs a bitter laugh).
MAN IN WHEELCHAIR: You see, for the past twenty years you either believed that Alan had killed Richard or that Richard had killed Alan that night. Each and every one of you had acted very selfishly. From Kelly pouring venom into Alanís ears, to Rachel not bothering to stop the fight, to everyone else pretending nothing had happened. Over the years youíve experienced misery in your own lives and it seems that the hand of destiny paid you back. Gregory is the only one it seems who does not have a load on his conscience. (He turns towards Gregory.)
GREGORY (smiling): It does seem to be the case.
HANDSOME MAN: Except that Gregory is not here is he?
THEY ALL TURN TOWARDS GREGORY.
GREGORY: I am not sure what you meanÖ
MAN IN WHEELCHAIR: But you do! Do you think your secret was going to remain a secret (he scorns) do you really think that you could get away with killing our friend? DO YOU? (He is shouting now).
THERE IS A SILENCE. GREGORY MAKES FOR THE DOOR. NO ONE TRIES TO STOP HIM BUT THE DOOR IS LOCKED. THEY ALL LOOK FROM THE MAN IN THE WHEELCHAIR TO GREGORY WONDERING WHAT IS GOING ON.
HANDSOME MAN: Shall we go back to the funeral from ten years ago?
ALL EXCEPT GREGORY: Yes!
HANDSOME MAN: Perhaps I should start the story at the beginning. You see, Gregory had a twin brother called Alex. Alex was not too mentally stable and their mother had kept him hidden for years. No one knew about Alex. He was the reason why they had moved from Yorkshire. At just the age of 8 Alex had killed a boy in his class although it was never proven and none of the boys present volunteered any information to the police. The bottom line that was accepted was that they had had a fight and that the boy fell and died. It wasnít that simple of course but without proof or testimonies and no evidence this version was chosen as the best explanation.
MAN IN WHEELCHAIR: What you have to appreciate is that there was a history of mental problems in the family. This boy Alex was damned with it. He was incapable of feelings and very violent. He was confined to his room for years until one day twenty years ago, he escaped.
THEY ALL GASP.
HANDSOME MAN: And when he escaped, he had only one thing on his mind, to kill his twin brother Gregory who he saw as responsible for his miserable life. Gregory and Alex were indistinguishable physically. Gregory killed his brother a few days before our trip to Corsica and buried him in the family garden. We did not know this at the time. The real Gregory had called both Alan and Richard two days before the departure for Corsica and told them as much as he could in a few seconds. Enough for them to understand that he was in danger and that his lunatic brother was after him with the worst intentions. Alan and Richard went to where Gregory had told them he was hiding but could not find him. They even called the police but the police said they could not investigate someone who did not exist because there was no record of Alex ever being born. As for Gregory missing, they would have to wait another 48 hours for him to be considered a ďmissing personĒ. Alan received a phone call from Gregory the very next day. He apologised for worrying him and assured him that everything was fine and that his brother was back in his room, locked.
THEY ALL SIGH.
MAN IN WHEELCHAIR: Richard received a similar phone call but there is something that did not sound right in the back of his mind. Why would Gregory have waited to call and why did he sound so dismissive of what had happened? So, the two of us (He point to the handsome man) discussed decided to hatch a little plan.
HANDSOME MAN: It is time now for us to reveal who we are. (Gasps from the guests). I am Richard. Some surgery has altered my original features but it was necessary to bring this story to fruition and enable us to unmask Gregoryís killer.
THEY ALL GASP.
MAN IN WHEELCHAIR: And I am Alan (more gasps), also altered under the knife of a skilled surgeon and for the same reasons. Richard and I decided to test everyone and especially The Gregory that joined us.
MAN IN WHEELCHAIR GETS UP AND WALKS TO THE BAR AREA. RACHEL FAINTS. EMILY FUSSES OVER HER BUT NO ONE ELSE PAYS THEM ANY ATTENTION.
HANDSOME MAN: You see Gregory, or perhaps we should call you Alex, we did not believe Gregory would have called in an emergency situation and then waited casually twenty-four hours to tell us that everything was OK. Gregory would have been on the phone the minute the situation was resolved. This is why Richard and I decided to play a little trick on you all. Kelly unwittingly helped. The rest of you made it even easier. When Gregory arrived we both knew it was Alex in his place and we had every good reason to be sure because Gregory had told us about the only thing that could tell them apart. It was but a detail. It confirmed our worst fears. Gregory had a small scar on the thumb of his right hand that was about half an inch long. Alex did not. When Gregory arrived we shook hands and there was no scar to be seen. We then knew Alex had turned up.
MAN IN WHEELCHAIR: So, we hatched the plan on the first night. We involved the local theatrical amateur society who I knew well having spent so many summers pestering the members to let me act with them. The numbers that were dialled that night and the next morning were, if you recall, on the important numbers card that were in the study when we arrived. Calls to the police and the ambulance crew went to the society members who were more than happy to indulge in our little murder mystery. The house had been in my family for generations so we were almost accepted as locals and both my father and my grandfather had been generous sponsors of the town.
HANDSOME MAN: So, you see, you might be bad all of you but not as evil as Alex here. Alex who is venom impersonated. Alex pretending to be Gregory sent his mother to her death by telling her that Alex had died because she had let him escape. But in her heart of hearts she knew what had happened and who this son of hers was.
JONATHAN STANDS UP.
JONATHAN: So, the events of that night twenty years ago were just a ploy to convince Alex there was nothing to worry about. It seems to have worked but whose funeral did we attend ten years ago?
MAN IN WHEELCHAIR: It was Gregoryís funeral! You see both Richard and I knew that Alex had killed Gregory. We followed Alex at every opportunity but he never led us to Gregory. Then one day we heard that Gregoryís mother had died. Her funeral was to take place in her original village in Yorkshire a place called Beverly. Richard and I decided to go to the funeral. By that time both of us had had surgery so we were unrecognisable. We followed Alex after the funeral and he went up to the woods where he spent some time standing by a tree as if talking to someone. After he left we started digging around and we found the remains of a body mainly bones but we also found the key-ring we had given Gregory for his nineteenth birthday. The key ring that answered to a whistle and said ďI love youĒ.
GREGORY: And how exactly are you going to prove any of this?
HANDSOME MAN: Easy enough, my friend, this time the real police is listening on our conversation.
RACHEL: So, It was Gregoryís funeral we attended ten year ago?
MAN IN WHEELCHAIR: Yes Rachel, it was. A belated funeral but one that we owed him.
EMILY IS CRYING SOFTLY. PETER AND JONATHAN HUG ONE ANOTHER. GREGORY TRIES TO RUN FOR THE DOOR AGAIN. THIS TIME IT OPENS AND A POLICE OFFICER ENTERS.
POLICE OFFICER: Alex Winston I arrest you for the murders of John Goldwin and Gregory White. You do not have to say anything but anything you say may be retained in evidence in a court of law. Do you understand?
GREGORY: (shouting over his shoulder to the others): You think you are clever donít you? You think this is the end of it?
HANDSOME MAN: It is Alex, it is. And you are going to be behind bars for the rest of your live at least. (He laughs a bitter laugh). Nowhere long enough, though. If it were down to me we would have killed you very slowly but the thought of going back into confinement will probably do that to you.
GREGORY: (Shouting) I have the best lawyer in the country. You wonít be able to touch me.
MAN IN WHEELCHAIR: But we have proof Alex. We have a signed letter from your mother explaining everything that happened. It is a shame it took so long for it to reach us but Richard had changed his name and when the solicitor finally tracked him down he had no idea what the letter contained. She also confessed to witnessing another crime of yours, Alex, the crime you committed when you killed little John in that schoolyard. So, here you go Alex, YOU CAN ROT IN PRISON AND IN HELL FOR EVER NOW!
RACHEL (shaking her head): And all these years you managed to keep going to avenge Gregory and you never doubted.
HANDSOME MAN: Oh but Rachel we did have our doubts. In the end you see, you can run away from the truth but the truth will always find you.
CURTAIN CLOSES.
END








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Comments by other Members



SJ Williamson at 17:27 on 22 April 2009  Report this post
Oh I hate being the first person to comment because I'm sooooooooo not qualified to comment really! I'm certain that one of the very talented members of the group who are excellent at the correcting our work will be able to comment on this piece regarding some small "glitches", so I won't embarrass myself by pointing out things when I'm not qualified to do so!

Fabienne - I really like the idea behind this story, and I enjoy a good murder mystery. I almost want to see this written as a novel though. I'm a bit dim sometimes, and I found it a bit tricky to keep up with, which was a shame because I was so interested to see what happened, but I did read it through and I liked the essentials! I would be happier seeing it acted out perhaps rather than reading it???

One thing I wasn't too sure about was Alan & Richard having surgery to change their appearance. It seemed a bit odd! How about one of them, maybe Alan as he's in a wheelchair, suffered facial injuries as well as the crippling injuries. Perhaps he was scarred badly enough to make him unrecognisable?

SJx


freynolds at 17:51 on 22 April 2009  Report this post
Hi SJ,

You just read my mind! I was thinking today that perhaps I should turn this into a story, following earlier feedback, as there is so much to take in. I'm hoping that I will get feedback from where I submitted the play, too. I had considered posting on the Theatre group here but unfortunately it is not very active, unlike this group where everyone is so committed.

I just realized as well re-reading your comment that it was not clear perhaps that no-one had got injured in the first place. I should also expand on why both needed surgery, so that Alex would not recognize them at his mother's funeral. A lot of food for thought!

Fabienne




Mand245 at 18:06 on 22 April 2009  Report this post
Hi Fabienne

I downloaded this to read it properly and I see SJ has already commented, so I hope you'll forgive me if I repeat anything!

I donít often read plays and Iím no expert on the form! Obviously this is intended to be performed rather than read, which makes a huge difference. Apart from the work you have already uploaded, I wonder if there are further scenes that we have not seen? I ask because I feel that, for the length of the act, the reader is being asked to assimilate a huge amount of information. Maybe itís because this is a play and not a novel so weíre not getting the back story, but I think a few extra scenes between different characters would give us a bit more of an idea about the people involved before we reach the great unveiling in this final scene! I think, because there are quite a number of characters, it would be beneficial to the reader to understand a little more of what makes each character tick, so that we better understand their separate identities and motives!

Apart from that general comment, I always admire someone who is able to plan a murder mystery. Pulling all the strands together and setting it up so that any one of the characters could have been the ďone whodunitĒ is no easy feat, and you have managed to give all of the characters a motive! I couldnít do it!

As you must know by now, Iím addicted to nit-picking so here goes!



RECOGNITION FROM EITHER OF THE GUESTS.

ANY of the guests, not EITHER

MAN IN WHEELCHAIR: Correct, Rachel, this is a mansion and you are my prisoners.

Correct, Rachel. This is aÖ

Ten years ago we all went to Richardí funeral and it turns out it was not him we buried.

(Typo) Richardís


MAN IN WHEELCHAIR (smiling): The truth is sometimes a little difficult to confront isnít it Kelly? KELLY: What do you mean?

confront, isnít it, Kelly?

directly above ragged rocked.


(typo) ragged rocks.

MAN IN WHEELCHAIR: You didnít know? Poor Kelly! (He is ironic). He is no diplomat your husband. (He laughs). When he is not at home, which is most of the time, he lives in a luxury house with his mistress of twenty years. Your poisonous tongue got you the life you hate. But it also landed you what you wanted most a rich husband.

He is no diplomat, your husband.
what you wanted most, a rich husband.


MAN IN WHEELCHAIR: But you are not the only one who got more than they could chew are you?

` you are not the only one who bit off more than you could chew, are you?

Rachel, adorable Rachel, who accepted to marry Richard because it was the best option at the time.


agreed, rather than accepted


Richard punched him back, once and Alan fell to his feet.

delete the comma


MAN IN WHEELCHAIR: You were always weak and selfish, you havenít changed but can you tell us why you did not tell anyone?

weak and selfish. You havenít changedÖ


MAN IN WHEELCHAIR: So we have established that Gregory although a wet suit does not have much to feel guilty about, this is not the case for Emily though.

guilty about. This is notÖ Itís more usual to say wet blanket rather than wet suit

EMILY (standing up): I knew it was going to be my turn (she snorts) it seems we all have something on our conscience and much more than just Richard falling over the cliff it seems.

to be my turn. (she snorts). It seems we all haveÖ repetition of Ďit seemsí at the end

I have my load over my shoulders too

I think this is a translation thing: I have a weight on my shoulders tooÖ


MAN IN WHEELCHAIR: So this leaves Peter and Jonathan. As far as you too

(typo) as you two


so I think it is time to reveal who I am but before I do that let me introduce you an old friend.

who I am, but beforeÖ

Each and every one of you had acted very selfishly

has acted

Gregory is the only one it seems who does not have a load on his conscience. (He turns towards Gregory.)

only one, it seems, who does not

Do you think your secret was going to remain a secret (he scorns) do you really think that you could get away with killing our friend? DO YOU? (He is shouting now).


Did you think your secret was going to remain a secret. (scornfully) Do you really think that you can get away with killing our friend? DO YOU? (He is shouting now).


He was confined to his room for years until one day twenty years ago, he escaped.


comma after one day,


MAN IN WHEELCHAIR: Richard received a similar phone call but there is something that did not sound right in the back of his mind.

was something that did not

So, the two of us (He point to the handsome man) discussed decided to hatch a little plan.

(He points to...) delete Ďdiscussedí


We involved the local theatrical amateur society

amateur theatrical society


The house had been in my family for generations so we were almost accepted as locals and both my father and my grandfather had been generous sponsors of the town.

The house has been in my family for generations so we are almost accepted as locals and both my father and my grandfather were generous sponsors of the town.


HANDSOME MAN: So, you see, you might be bad all of you but not as evil as Alex here. Alex who is venom impersonated.

personified rather than impersonated


Alex pretending to be Gregory sent his mother to her death by telling her that Alex had died because she had let him escape
Alex, pretending to be Gregory, sentÖ


Yorkshire a place called Beverly.


Yorkshire, a place calledÖ

After he left we started digging around and we found the remains of a body mainly bones but we also found the key-ring we had given Gregory for his nineteenth birthday.

remains of a body; mainly bones butÖ


HANDSOME MAN: Easy enough, my friend, this time the real police is listening on our conversation.

Easy enough, my friend. This time the real police are listening in on our conversation.


RACHEL: So, It was Gregoryís funeral we attended ten year ago?

RACHEL: So, it was Gregoryís funeral we attended ten years ago?


MAN IN WHEELCHAIR: Yes Rachel, it was

Yes, Rachel,


HANDSOME MAN: It is Alex, it is. And you are going to be behind bars for the rest of your live at least. (He laughs a bitter laugh).
It is, Alex, it is.
life rather than live


MAN IN WHEELCHAIR: But we have proof Alex

But we have proof, Alex


I think this is potentially a really good murder mystery play, and with a scene or two to establish the personality of the characters this act would work very well!

As I said, I donít read many plays so I might be completely wrong, and when performed on the stage the audience would probably get a better feel for the characters through the acting, but from just reading this I would need a little more background. (Iím easily confused)!

Lots of potential and an interesting and original murder mystery! I really look forward to reading more of your work and youíve inspired me to want to read a few more plays)!

Mand


freynolds at 18:33 on 22 April 2009  Report this post
Hi Mand,

What would we do without you? Thanks so much for taking the time and spot all the typos and the inconsistencies as well as punctuation. Instead of using my own judgement this time, I resorted to the spell check and grammar and reading all that you have highlighted, I am not impressed with its efficiency.

Yours and SJ feedback has been most helpful and I think that I ought to either consider writing it as a story or forget about the initial brief of cramming all this info into a 1 hour play and take a scene-by-scene approach, delivering information on a much more step-by-step approach.

I'm glad you enjoyed the plot. I know there is a good story within this, it just needs a bit of polishing. I'll follow writing guidelines and put it aside for a couple of months with a view to revisit with a fresh mind.

Fabienne

fbtoast at 18:41 on 22 April 2009  Report this post
Hi

I'm going to comment on Act I and Act II here, and please forgive me if I say things that others have already said:

Act I:

I think you can go from "placing glasses from a tray" to "voices can be heard, Louis leaves, Emily enters"

Don't need "thinking aloud"

I think if you were talking, you would say "he's never told us", rather than "he has never told us"

Love the titles of Alan's books!

"what is the secret of your eternal youth", not "what is secret for eternal youth"

"the same as yours obviously", not "the same as you obviously"

love the "if I didn't know you, I would be attracted to you" - very true and very rude

Not sure if we need a second round of people commenting how they haven't changed and asking for their secret

The line about finding the right pair of shoes is a bit of a non sequitur

Is Alan Sir Gray? Normally he would be called Sir Alan, rather than title + surname

"all on holiday" not "all on holidays"

No need to say the relationship was secret, if he is going to add that no-one knew at the time

No need to add the stage direction about looking at Emily in complete shock

"butter wouldn't", not "butter would not"

Full-stop after "Alan's ears", not question mark

* * *

Oh, got to go, I'll submit this and add more later...



Mand245 at 18:41 on 22 April 2009  Report this post
Hi Fabienne

I try not to rely on spellcheck. My computer seems to think it knows better than I as to what I want to say. I had a character who was supposed to be scared and ended up sacred (an improvement, maybe!).

I understand that your brief was a one hour play, but I feel that the mystery is too involved to do it justice in so short a piece. You could remove a couple of characters to simplify the plot, but personally I think you should expand it as you've suggested. It definitely has the potential to be a full length play!

Mand

fbtoast at 21:35 on 22 April 2009  Report this post
Right, I'm back. Continuing from where I left off:

"Rachel had agreed to marry" or "Rachel had accepted Richard"

"tried to keep in touch", not "tried to be in touch"

By the end of Act I, I'm so confused with all these characters being introduced as possible murderees and then immediately dismissed as possibilities, I've completely lost track!

I'm not sure how it would be possible for SOMEBODY to have been murdered and presumably the murder investigated without all this having come out 20 years' earlier?

"above ragged rocks"

I'm not sure you can call Gregory a wet suit - it makes him sound like one of those things that people use to go surfing in?

"load on my shoulders"

I'm confused. Why did they wait 20 years to unmask Alex and go to all the trouble of the cosmetic surgery and everything, if in the end they could just have got the confession from his mother 20 years earlier?

Put in this very concentrated form, it doesn't seem very plausible. I think it would work better as a murder mystery novel, where you actually see all the events as they happen, instead of all being told in highly concentrated flashback.

In a way I actually thought the more interesting story was the various women's secrets and the tangled web of relationships, with everyone marrying the wrong people for the wrong reasons - again, that would be great to read about in more detail in a novel.

nezelette at 11:45 on 23 April 2009  Report this post
Hi Fabienne,

I agree with everyone that this probably deserves a longer story, maybe even a novel! I find the intrigue gripping and the story-line good. I was left wanting to know much more about the characters and their stories, as well as more detail about their reactions.
Could it be turned into a story with flasbacks so that we can see what happened from different points of view without the characters having to tell us? It would allow more depth of feeling and characterisation.
I think you should carry on with this story as we all seemed to enjoy it and want to know more!

freynolds at 11:58 on 23 April 2009  Report this post
Thanks Nezelette and Nicole.

Too much in too short a period of time is, I think, the issue. I'll leave this story for a while, give it some rest so to speak and then re-visit it to see where I can take it.

I've just started work on a new murder mystery but as a novel this time and will post the first chapter soon for feedback. I hope this will prove easier to digest.

Fabienne


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